Junior Tennis - Stages of Progression

Junior tennis, the sport that gives young children the opportunity to learn and develop their tennis skills as they grow.  With 3 stages – Red, Orange, and Green – children are given the tools to succeed with equipment and court sizes tailored to different age groups.  Smaller courts, properly-sized racquets, and tennis balls designed to be played at slower speeds help children to learn fundamentals and grow into the game as they get older.

 

Finally they will progress to the adult game, with traditional yellow balls and

full-sized racquets.

Stage/Age

Ball

Ball Size /Racket/ Court Dimensions

Scoring Options

Stage Descriptions

RED BALL

5-8 years

75%
slower
than a Yellow ball* (Foam or Felt)

Foam ball
8.00-9.00 cm

Standard ball
7.00-8.00 cm

Racket
17-23” (43-58cm)**

Court
36-42ft (10.97-12.8m) x 14-20ft (4.27-6.1m)

Net Height
(at the centre): 31.5-33” (0.8-0.838m)

1x Tiebreak to 7 or 10

Best of 3
Tiebreaks to 7

1x Short Set to 4

Timed matches

  • Slower balls, smaller courts, and shorter rackets.

  • Players are able to play the game from their first lesson.

  • Players start to play at tennis festival events that use fun, team-based multi-match events.

  • Development of good technique and use of realistic tactics.

Stage/Age

Ball

Ball Size /Racket/ Court Dimensions

Scoring Options

Stage Descriptions

ORANGE BALL

8-10 years

50 %
slower
than a Yellow ball* 

Standard ball
6.00-6.86 cm

Racket
23-25” (58-63cm)**

Court
58-60ft (17.68-18.29m) x 20-27ft (6.1-8.23m)

Net Height
(at the centre): 31.5-36” (0.8-0.914m)

Best of 3
Tiebreaks to 7

1x Short Set to 4

  • Players move to a larger court, relevant to their size.

  • Ball is slightly faster than at Red, but continues to provide an optimal

  • striking zone.

  • Players have the ability to implement advanced tactics.

  • Matches are longer than at Red and children play both ‘team’ and ‘individual’ multi-match events.

Stage/Age

Ball

Ball Size /Racket/ Court Dimensions

Scoring Options

Stage Descriptions

GREEN BALL 

9-10 years

25%
slower
than a Yellow ball* 

Standard ball
6.30-6.86 cm

Racket
25-26” (63-66cm)**

Full Size Court
78ft (23.77) x 27ft (8.23m)

Standard Net Height
(at the centre): 36” (0.914m)

1x Short set to 4

Best of 3 Short
Sets to 4

(3rd Set as match Tiebreak

to 10)

  • The ball is faster than at Orange.

  • Ball still slower and lower bouncing than the yellow ball.

  • Experienced players are able to continue to develop good technique and to implement advanced tactics.

  • Matches are slightly longer than at Orange, with both ‘team’ and individual’ multi-match competition played.

Stage/Age

Ball

Ball Size /Racket/ Court Dimensions

Scoring Options

Stage Descriptions

Yellow Ball 11 years +

Yellow Ball

Standard ball
6.54-6.86 cm

Racket
26-29” (66-73.7cm)**

Full Size Court
78ft (23.77) x 27ft (8.23m)

Standard Net Height:
(at the centre): 36" (0.914m)

Any scoring system within the Rules of Tennis

  • Players reach Yellow having progressed through the Red, Orange and Green stages.

  • Players will usually be ready to train and compete with the Yellow ball on the full court